Amber Gwynne


Amber Gwynne is a researcher, writer and editor based in Meanjin (Brisbane). She is a communications advisor in the public service, managing editor of the Journal of Australian Studies and a lecturer in writing at the University of Queensland. 


James and the Giant BLEEP

Non-fictionIt’s in this way that supposedly untranslatable words, for which our language has no exact or close synonym, are often so deeply pleasurable: not because those words reveal something about a worldview that’s unfamiliar or foreign to us but precisely the opposite.

Help yourself

GR OnlineIf we cannot live in the world and escape self-help, as the memoirist Jessica Lamb-Shapiro so wryly observes, we can hardly condemn its virulence without also being struck by its sheer resilience. At best, self-help might broadly inform, inspire and instruct, representing one of the most obvious – though not the most auspicious – mechanisms through which psychological and philosophical insights diffuse to a generalist audience.

Reading the room

GR OnlineBut if writing and reading about books means we’re ‘perpetually stressed and disappointed with book reviewing’, I can’t help but wonder if this recurrent hand-wringing demands more than to be defended or disputed on the grounds of accuracy or defensibility alone. Are book reviews ‘good’ or ‘bad’? Is the ‘soft vs snark’ binary real?

Consuming content

GR Online‘Do food bloggers realize how awful their recipe pages are?’ a Reddit user innocently enquires in a thread I stumble across while googling food blogs bad. ‘Do they take reader satisfaction into account?’ According to more than 600 replies, the answer is largely no.

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